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Benefit Run for Courage slated for Oct. 2

By: Matt Long
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In 2008, El Dorado Hills resident Vicki Zito’s then 17-year-old daughter was abducted from a grocery story parking lot in El Dorado Hills and taken to the Bay Area where she was a prisoner to sex-traffickers until law enforcement officials rescued the girl. This story hit close to home to many residents with teenage girls or younger and now the community can participate in an event to help victims of this horrible crime. The Run for Courage, a 5K walk/run and a 10K run will be held in Folsom on Oct. 2 to benefit the Courage House, a home that recently opened in the Roseville area to house rescued teen victims of sex-trafficking. Zito is pleased that there is now a home for the girls and is equally pleased that this event will raise funds for it. “To say it’s critical to have such a home for the girls is an understatement,” Zito said. “Most of the girls rescued don’t have a loving home to go to and having this home is crucial in the recovery process. It’s a place where they can be safe and have the opportunities, tools and resources to recover move on with their life. “To have the community open up and be willing to be educated on this ugly, in-you-face topic of sex trafficking, as a mother of a victim, I’m moved deeply to the response that we’ve received form the community and the sponsors of the event.” Jenny Williamson, founder of the Courage House, is equally gracious for the support of the Run for Courage. “Courage House is a home, not a program,” Williamson said. “No one graduates from Courage House. When they first walk through the door, they become part of a family – our family. From that moment on, they have a place to belong. A place where people believe in them and will equip, encourage and empower them to be and do all God created them to do.” A large majority of the girls rescued from sex-trafficking rings do not have a loving home to return to, which makes the need for such a place as the Courage House even more important. There’s also a big need for such a place in the Sacramento area, as Sacramento ranks within the top-15 cities for sex trafficking on Craig’s list, according to the FBI. The Run For Courage will be held on The Parkway Trails at Blue Ravine and N. Parkway Drive in Folsom on Oct. 2. The 10K run begins at 8 a.m. and the 5K run/walk will start at 8:15 a.m. All proceeds from the run go to the Courage House. To register for the run or to make a donation, go to runforcourage.com.